The Cliven Bundy Syndrome

Cliven Bundy, the famous (or infamous depending on one’s sensitivities) Nevada rancher who defended his claim to land against the government’s claim to the same land, has been branded a racist for remarks he made about African-Americans (or blacks or colored people or whatever the trendy term is). In a sidebar commentary a short time after the standoff, he commented on some of the things he had witnessed.

Here is a video of the comments that have earned him enemies and cost him friends:

Yet, what he says has less to do with his beliefs on race and more to do with his opinion of government-subsidized living:

I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. When I go through Las Vegas, north Las Vegas, and I would see these little government houses. And in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids and there was always half a dozen people sitting on the porch. They didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do, and because they were basically on government subsidies. So now what do they do? They abort their young children. They put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered are they better off as slaves picking cotton, having a family life, and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidies … They got less freedom, have less family life … you could see in their faces they weren’t happy sitting on that concrete sidewalk.

Cliven Bundy’s social stumble was the use of the words “Negro,” “cotton,” and “slavery,” yet what he said was not a racial slur against African-Americans, but against the government programs that are supposed to alleviate poverty among African-Americans. His complaint is that even under slavery there was labor and family and activity while under government guaranteed subsidies, there is apathy, abortion, and crime. He even states that African-Americans are less free and less happy under modern conditions than previous generations. He argues that the young men never learned how to work and produce (pick cotton) and there is a lack of coherent families (abortion and jail). All of which has been thoroughly documented and debated by conservatives over the past few decades. Though his language is a bit antiquated (though not as offensive as every claims it to be), he is actually showing a bit wisdom and sympathy toward “Negros.” It bothers him that they are idle, lack family life, and are unhappy.

The fact that someone has to explain this shows just how sensational and shallow news has becomes and how little critical thinking people are expected to do.

While the headlines blacklist (no pun intended) Bundy as a racists, the true barb is that he stated the government has done more harm than good and that is a taboo for the establishment.

[Update: The Spearhead has an article saying what I wanted to say far better than I actually said it.]

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Author: M.W. Peak

Just a humble guy trying to make his way in the universe.

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